Nagoya, Japan, November 21, 2009 - Brazil stayed on course for a third FIVB World Grand Champions Cup title by sweeping Poland 3-0 in the first match at Nippongaishi Hall on Saturday. In a rematch of the one-sided 2006 World Championship final in Tokyo, which Brazil claimed 3-0, the South American champions won 25-17, 25-17, 25-18.
The defending champions improved their win-loss record to 3-0 for the week and Poland dropped to 0-3 with two games remaining in the six-team inter-continental championship.
Brazil, with a large and noisy vocal backing from the Brazilian community, settled easily in what resembled a “home” environment and led 8-3 at the first TTO. Vissotto made an immediate impression on spike and block, and there were service aces for Murilo, rather fortunately off the net cord, and for Lucas. Some powerful winners from Marcel Gromadowski down the right flank and the back-court attacks of Zbigniew Bartman helped bring Poland into the match, but the Brazilians still held a comfortable 16-11 lead at the second TTO. Down 21-12, Poland replaced the misfiring Piotr Nowakowski with Daniel Plinski, but there was no respite for the Poles as the Brazilian attack, with Rodrigao commanding at the net and Giba serving an ace, finished the opening frame 25-17 with Vissotto’s seventh point.
The Brazilian block and swift work at the net by Rodrigao kept Brazil on top in the second set, although they struggled to control the flowing spikes of Gromadowski on the Polish right side. Leading 8-5 at the first TTO, Brazil improved to 12-7, forcing Poland into a TO as they continued to make unforced errors on attack. In contrast, Murilo was in his usual resourceful form, picking off winners nonchalantly as Brazil led 16-10 at the second TTO. At 19-12, Brazil coach Bernardinho began to make changes and give his bench players a run, and Theo Lopes was quickly on the board with a left-wing spike. Brazil closed out the second set 25-17 with a flashing Giba winner from the left.
A Bartosz Kurek block on Vissotto lifted Polish spirits early in the third set and Brazil called a TO on falling behind 5-2. Kurek repeated the treatment for 7-3 and the Poles underlined their improving fortunes with a deep spike from Michal Ruciak for a four-point lead, 8-4, at the first TTO. The Poles had recorded zero block points in the first two sets, but now Ruciak joined in by stopping his opposite number 14 Rodrigao. The Brazilians lifted their game a notch, though, and raced past Poland into the second TTO, 16-12. As Brazil started to take charge, Lucas took control in the closing stages to finish off the set, 25-18.